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Resurrection,: A novel (The world's classics) [Unknown Binding]

Leo Tolstoy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 461 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford university press (1928)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000887RHS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,618,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, where he spent most of his early years, together with his several brothers. In 1844 he entered the University of Kazan to read Oriental Languages and later Law, but left before completing a degree. He spent the following years in a round of drinking, gambling and womanizing, until weary of his idle existence he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851.

He took part in the Crimean war and after the defence of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 Tolstoy spent some time mixing with the literati in St Petersburg before travelling abroad and then settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. His marriage to Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862 marked the beginning of a period of contentment centred around family life; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy managed his vast estates, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote both his great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).

During the 1870s he underwent a spiritual crisis, the moral and religious ideas that had always dogged him coming to the fore. A Confession (1879-82) marked an outward change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and in a series of pamphlets written after 1880 he rejected church and state, indicted the demands of flesh, and denounced private property. His teachings earned him numerous followers in Russia and abroad, and also led finally to his excommunication by the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. In 1910 at the age of eighty-two he fled from home 'leaving this worldly life in order to live out my last days in peace and solitude'; dying some days later at the station master's house at Astapovo.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read 28 July 1998
By A Customer
I abslutely love this book. It is riveting, encompassing, passionate, beautiful... There are so many adjectives to describe it. The novel seems to grab the reader by the heart and never lets go until the last word, and not even then. I've read it more times than I dare to count and find something new and engrossing each time. It is certainly the best novel by Tolstoy and I enjoyed it more than "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina." Although this novel is not as famous as the two I just mentioned, it is certainly more touching and quite unforgettable. I just adore it!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Tolstoy Novel! 27 Feb 2011
This was the first Tolstoy book I had picked up and it remains my favourite. It is all about a prostitute who is up on a murder trial and Dmitri a nobleman who is is the jury. He realizes that he knew this prostitute from years ago when she was a servant to his household and he had fallen in love with her, had an affair with her, raped her and left her as she did not have the status to marry him. When he realizes that the woman who is on trial is the same woman who had been a servant to him years ago he realizes that he is partly guilty for her being in this situation. If he had stayed with her and loved her, he could have prevented this whole situation.
He visits her in prison and talks to her, he talks to all the other prisoners and realizes their social sufferings too and comes to the realization that the aristocratic world that he lives in is a fake world ignorant to the poverty and the conditions in which the lower class people live in. He seeks to forgive himself and hopes that the woman he once loved could find a way to forgive him. This is a very spiritual book, and I think it reflects Tolstoy's spirituality and his relationship with society as he himself was an aristocrat. Apparently it was his last major work which also says something as well. I really loved this book it is so deep and compassionate, I found myself absollutely gripped and wanted Dmitri to find spiritual peace.
It is also a huge criticism on the prision conditions at the time, so there are also parts within the book which describe the most terrible conditions in which prisoners were forced to sleep under, with rats crawling all over the place, it is all in this book and I highly recommend it to anybody who is going through spiritual changes themselves as they will identitfy with the character and how he seeks for peace through trying to help others through understanding them and then inacting upon what he had learnt.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That Which Must First Die To Resurrect 30 Mar 2009
By demola
Resurrection is the story of how a man who raped a girl attempts to redeem himself by trying to save her from gaol when she is convicted of murder many years after. To the consternation of friends, family and society he gave up (well, most of) his privileged life to atone for his crime. Through it Tolstoy decimates the russian establishment (church, state, judiciary, aristocracy) and while at it also one of our most cherished notions - a landowner's right to own land.

The writing is superb and beautiful (it's Tolstoy), preachy and petulant and yet never loses sympathy for the hearts and minds of those he is trying to influence. Tolstoy is here close to the end of his long life and as one who has witnessed vast injustice feels, perhaps righteously so, that he had earned the right to call the powers that be to account. And he does it ruthlessly.

The political, social and economic conditions that led to such exploitation and disenfranchisement of the russian poor are still with us perhaps glaringly more so in the free markets dogma where earning a buck all too often trumps human dignity. They don't write books like this any more. They would not translate well on film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Dickens? 21 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When Prince Nekhludoff re-encounters his first love Maslova during her trial for poisoning, he is reminded of the part he played in starting her downward spiral into prostitution and now imprisonment. His conscience wakened, he begins to look with fresh eyes at the society he lives in and to question a system that allows a privileged few to enjoy vast wealth while the peasant class suffers grinding poverty. Through his efforts to clear Maslova, he is drawn into the justice system and is horrified at the cruelty and unfairness he finds there.

This is a highly political book, interesting in the light it sheds on the strains in pre-revolutionary Russian society. Tolstoy uses Nekhludoff to muse on such questions as land ownership, political protest, the place of formal religion in society, the causes of criminality and what he sees as the injustice of a system that imprisons large numbers of people who are either innocent or driven to crime by circumstances of poverty or disaffection - all questions which still resonate today. While his answers to these questions might seem somewhat simplistic with the benefit of hindsight, they provide considerable food for thought and help illuminate the course that Russia followed over the next half-century.

The plot as such is slight, a vehicle to allow Nekhludoff to meet various characters in the justice system - both those in power and those in jail. Tolstoy provides a series of vignettes as he tells the stories of this huge cast of characters, each giving an insight into an aspect of the system and into the trials and hypocrisies of human nature.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Penguin Classic.
I thought i was buying the Penguin Classic for Kindle as it was listed under the Penguin paperback. I'll wait to see if Penguin publishes on Kindle.
Published 3 months ago by R PANKHURST
5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrection
I enjoy the classics. They never stop intriguing readers with their content. I enjoy reading it very much.
Recommend to anyone who enjoys reading.
Published 7 months ago by Anna Scmidt
4.0 out of 5 stars Leo Tolstoys Resurrection
I found this book to be much more interesting than War and Peace easier to read, as this was Tolstoys last novel maybe not many people know about but I would recommend it.
Published 7 months ago by terence george curtis
5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrection, Leo Tolstoy, (Penguin Classics.
This is a generally under-rated novel by Tolstoy but is as fascinating as his other two greats. This particular edition is introduced by a must-read essay by a Tolstoy specialist.
Published 15 months ago by alisa barstow
4.0 out of 5 stars pleased
I received this book, which was sent from the UK to South America, and it was really efficient, taking into account distance and time to do it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by cocodrilocafe
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
This is the story of a young wealthy man called Nekhlyudov, who takes advantage of a nineteen year old servant girl (be careful of the accusations of `rape' made in other reviews,... Read more
Published on 22 July 2010 by H. Tee
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written book with a somewhat unsatisfying ending
Once again, Tolstoy takes on the grand themes in life and this time round he takes on two of them: redemption and justice. Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2010 by A. Harsono
3.0 out of 5 stars ? Translation problems
I had difficultines reaching Tolstoy's work becuse `Rosemary Edmonds's fine translation' got in the way. (Either that, or Tolstoy set about wrecking his reputation with this book). Read more
Published on 28 Nov 2009 by Mrs. RM KLEPPMANN
3.0 out of 5 stars Story telling of the 19th Century
Leo Tolstoy, the arch novelist of his century, remains the superb story-teller as before. Alas, his style now belongs to the museum of fiction, where lengthy, precise and... Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2009 by E. Darzi
5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrection
I'm only half way through this but I am just so surprised by it that I thought I'd write something.

It's true that in Resurrection, the novelist's over-riding intent is... Read more
Published on 15 April 2008 by J. Pierson
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